Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Panic!

So I had two (TWO!) panic attacks this week over insurance and diabetes related issues. First, since I had a 90-day waiting period before the insurance at my new job would kick in, I was forced to enroll in COBRA coverage. Talk about a major bummer? Anyway, there was a hiccup in transitioning me from insurance as an existing employee to being covered as a COBRA customer. Same insurance plan, same company, just different designation . . why is this so hard, you ask? Who knows. . .

Anyway, this hiccup occurred at the end of December/beginning of January, at the same time I was getting my new insulin pump and going to a bunch of Endo appointments to get started. So last week, I got a few bills in the mail from my Endo's office for these appointments. This is how I found out about the "hiccup." I also found out that one of the things that was never paid for was my pump! As freaked out as I was about that, they proceeded to tell me that they would go ahead and fix this and send their portion, FIFTY PERCENT, to Animas right away.

Well, that's all well and good but I had been told that I would be covered 80/20 for this pump and it's supplies. So now I'm being told that instead of paying 20% for my pump and supplies (or $1000 for the pump and $120 for the supplies), I will actually be paying 50% plus a $500 deductible (or $2850 for the pump and $300 for the supplies). Um, no?!? I frantically called the Animas rep. He was awesome and assured me that whomever I spoke with was wrong, my portion would only be 20% and he would fix it right away. And, God bless that man, he did. Both he and the insurance rep called me today to confirm that my coverage was 80/20 and that I was right. (Sweet validation!) But holy freakin' Spicoli* that scared the crap outta me!

Then, today, I was trying to find out more about what my new insurance would be like. Changing insurance scares the crap out of me because all of my supplies, not to mention my insulin, are ridiculously expensive and bad insurance coverage can almost be worse than none at all. I have to pick an insurance plan next week so I called my Benefits department to go over my options. I was told that the prescription plan has changed from the covereage that I heard about at my interview. (Oh crap!) From now on all plans would cover generic prescriptions for $15 per 30 day supply . . . and my portion will be 100% for any non-generic prescription. But, I asked, what if there is no generic alternative? ::cough: insulin ::cough:: She repeated, my portion will be 100% for any non-generic prescription.

100%? Of all my test strips. Of all my insulin. And all my pump supplies?

Oh. My. Dear. God.

Insulin is easily $200/month (I use 2 vials/month), test strips are probably $150 (testing 5x/day) and my pump supplies are $600 for a 3-4 month supply. And NONE of it is considered generic. Nor are there ANY generic alternatives. That's close to $600 per month just for my diabetes supplies, not including doctor's appointments, etc. Plus I have to pay some ungodly premium for that crappy coverage ($150/month). What?!?

I promptly had a meltdown and good and well flipped my shit . . . and then I sat down and tried to calm myself. I did some digging and apparently people in the company were rioting over the change (um, duh!) so they created a plan called the "full Rx" plan. It's still $15 for generic but my portion of non-generic prescriptions would be 30-40%, depending on the drug (which still sucks, mind you). You have to specifically ask and qualify for it. And it's an extra $25/month. These are my options for insurance.

And I have a good job.

Working in health care.

Can I call shenanigans?

I'm going to my Benefits orientation next week, where I hope to be enlightened by some truth that has eluded me so far. I'm hoping someone will clarify this crappy coverage and assure me that there is something that I'm missing and really it isn't as bad as it sounds. Because right now it sounds pretty damn bad. We'll see and I'll keep you posted. And if you see smoke billowing from Florida next, you'll know they've pushed me too far and my head has officially exploded.

Wish me luck!
~Layne


*Fast Times at Ridgemont High reference. . . look it up.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Blessed

Hello everyone! I am still traveling to Jacksonville during the week. It was just supposed to be for the first 2-3 weeks but unfortunately I have a few meetings and orientation type things coming up that I need to be in Jax for that fall at just the wrong times. This makes transitioning over to the 24-hour shifts very difficult. So two more weeks of dayshift for me and then I will go to the on-call shifts. This will be SO much nicer because it will mean no more packing up food and clothes and no more checking into hotels and no more being away from home for long periods of time. Instead, I'll drive up to Jax, put in my 24 hours and drive right back home. And I'll get a good 3 to 4 days in-between shifts. Sweet! Can't wait!

Other than my scheduling woes, everything is still going well. Every job has it's pros and cons but I'm finding this one seems to fit me well. I love most of the people I work with and they make working there fun. (SO important!) I'm also loving the actual work. The patients are more complex and interesting, I'm doing more procedures and getting more experience and learning something new every day!

In addition to feeling so blessed to have this wonderful new job, I was also blessed recently to receive two (not one, two!) awards from some lovely blogger ladies whom I respect and adore. The first award if the Beautiful Blogger Award from Bethany over at BeeMusings. She is another spunky D-blogger who has an adorable family and takes beautiful pictures. The rules for this award are to thank the person who nominated you for this award and insert a link to their blog, share 7 things about yourself and then pass on the award to 10 other bloggers who you recently discovered and think are great!

The second award is the "Your Blog Makes Us Smile" award from my new friend Christi over at Believing in Blessings. I just recently found her blog through another D-blog that I visit. Then I saw that we lived in the same city! Finally! Someone in the DOC who actually lives in the southeast!! So we've been talking and getting to know each other and it has been such a blessing to find someone so close to share things with and learn from and vent with. We met for the first time recently and it was really fun. So it's ironic that she gave me this award because she really has made me smile!

The rules for this award are similar to the first. Pass this along to 7 bloggers who make you smile and then make a list of 7 things that make you smile. Easy enough!

I'm going to cheat a little on this one. First, I'm going to pass both awards on to the same people. There are tons of blogs I read that both make me smile and are written by beautiful bloggers. So if you are listed below consider yourself double-awarded!

1. Ashlee from Ash Is Fit is a very inspiring cook and blogger. By day, she is an accountant and by night she eats wonderfully healthy, delicious meals and exercises her little butt off! She also recently moved to Jacksonville, FL (yes, the city I work in).

2. I love Sarah from Becoming Sarah. Her baby is adorable and I've enjoyed following her through her first year of motherhood. Plus her philosophies on life and parenting and cloth diapers and breastfeeding just crack me up!

3. Suzanne is a self-described "born-again diabetic" who has gone through a lot to get her diabetes under control and I can't say how much respect I have for her for that. Currently she is being rewarded for efforts with a growing bundle of joy due in a couple of months! YAY!

4. Karen was one of the first DOC-er's whose blog I started reading regularly. She is an absolute sweetheart and can knit a mean, well, anything from what I can tell. :-) Her up's and down's with diabetes seem so familiar to me and I really enjoy reading her blog.

5. Robin is one of my favorite ex-co-workers ever! She is hysterical and an absolute joy to be around. We worked together in a NICU in Orlando and had a blast whenever we were on together. She makes me laugh harder than I probably should at work but I loved every minute. One of my favorite parts of her blog is the 5 things she's thankful for everyday. her faith and gratitude are inspiring!

6. Another wonderful co-worker of mine from that NICU was Amber, a child-life specialist. She always had a smile on her face that made her patient's day just a bit brighter. In addition to this, she is a wonderfully talented crafter. From scrapbook pages, to cards she can do amazing things with glue, glitter and ribbon.

7. and 8. I'm also going to give back the awards to the two lovely ladies who gave them to me in the first place! Christi and Bee are both so sweet and are definitely deserving of both awards.

Okay! On to the 7 things about me and 7 things that make me smile. Again, I'm going to cheat and just combine this into one list:

1. My pup, Raina. She can be a little turd but she is so sweet and makes me laugh every day.

2. My wonderful husband, who is so supportive and patient. I seriously don't deserve him. He is my best friend and I love him THIS MUCH!

3. The new entertainment center we bought with half of our tax refund. It's so purty!

4. It also makes me happy that I got the aforementioned entertainment center on sale and saved over $400!!

5. Hello, my name is Layne and I'm a cheapskate.

6. My new pump is pink and pretty and I'm liking it way more than I thought I would. (One month review coming soon!)

7. Finally, it makes me smile to think about how happy I am with my life, husband, job, family, dog, etc. I feel very luck and count my blessings every day.

~Layne

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Good (but long) week

Hello everyone! I probably should have posted while I was away but there is something about being away from home and everyone you love that just wears you out. Of course, I took my laptop with me to Jax and it served me well between blog-surfing and streaming some of my favorites from Netflix. So technically I could have posted but mostly I tried to just focus on work.

This week I was up early every morning and in the unit until late afternoon, at least. I learned a lot about the daytime routines and the software that is used to generate the patient progress notes and IV fluid orders. It was nice but I always feel a bit of unrest the first couple of weeks on a new job. I mean, I can't do much more than follow people around and watch them do their job and learn it so that I can do that job eventually. It can be very boring and, at times, unsatisfying. I did take a handful of patients every day but their were mostly feeder/growers (that's lingo in the NICU for mostly healthy babies that just need to learn to eat by mouth and gain weight before they can go home) so there wasn't much for me to do each day with them.

Friday, the ONE day I was hoping would be slow so that I could get on the road early and avoid the weather and rush hour, was actually pretty busy. The weather had turned bad outside and was threatening rain and we were joking all day that it was raining babies inside. I ended up at my first two deliveries Friday, one set of 29 week twins and a 27 weeker. I was "head of the bed" (meaning I led the resuscitation) for both deliveries and even got an intubation! I was worried I'd be pretty rusty so it was nice to get some procedures and admissions under my belt. I also attempted umbilical lines (central lines that we use to give the babies IV fluids and draw labs) on 2 of the 3 new babies and drew labs on the third. Unfortunately the arterial lines wouldn't advance on either baby and one of the venous lines was in the liver, one of the venous lives was good! Thank God for small miracles! Only 1 out of 4? Guess I'm a little rusty after all! :-)

Diabetes wise, it was a week FULL of lows. I took a fridge full of food but thought I'd be okay without my trusty supply of OJ and instead took some fruit leather and milk in case of lows. Well, one night I was there I'd eaten all of my fruit leather and finished off the milk to try to rid myself of a nasty low and was still in the 40's!! I couldn't go to bed until my sugar was decent but I'd been dealing with this stupid low for 2 hours and it wasn't budging! I had plenty of food but not a whole lot that was appropriate for a low. I improvised and then grabbed some milk boxes and OJ containers at the breakfast bar the next day to re-stock my fridge! Also I am going to have to re-think my basals during the day at work because I was getting low a lot in the mornings before lunch. I'm going to finish another week up there to see what my sugars do before I make any major changes to my pump.

That's all for now. I had a really good week and I'm so grateful for finding this job. I'm so happy and I think it's exactly where I'm supposed to be. But I did miss home while I was away and I'm glad to be back for a few days. I'll be up in Jax again this week Tuesday through Friday and then who knows? For now I'm enjoying my time at home.

~Layne